Bulls are known for aggressive, threatening behavior; that’s why we call people who behave this way towards others ‘bullies.’ Tight limits and wide margins are not only wise in a pasture, it’s also wise in ministry.
The church in this story has no official disability ministry, no “program.” They try very hard to organically meet the needs of individual families who worship there. This is a church-in-progress. It’s a church family becoming an increasing reflection of Christ; God is growing fruit. They realize there is a lot they don’t know or understand. And they’re excited to learn and grow as a community.
How can each follower of Jesus pursue justice for people with disabilities? We see in David a paradigm when he meets Mephibosheth. In 2 Samuel 9, we see David exemplify three simple practices that can help combat injustice and inequity for people with disabilities.
I’ve been in ministry long enough to know that the prayers and time spent seeking God determine the outcome of ministry and special events. Everyone working in the space of special needs or mental health ministry needs to stay prayed up, in God’s Word, for guidance, wisdom, and protection. Make no mistake, the work of all special needs ministry, including ministry to and with people whose disability is revealed in behavior, is very much intertwined with the battle over whose life holds value. Anyone working in this space is on the front line of the battle between darkness and light.
We want to see churches start with disability in their DNA. We want people with disabilities to be targets of the evangelistic efforts new churches make, and participants in the early stages of a church’s life. One of our core convictions is that when a church doesn’t include people with disabilities, the church itself is disabled. People with disabilities remind us that God’s grace is shown most powerfully in weakness. They remind us that we all must remain dependent on God for our daily bread.